a reluctant love poem (to grief)

You are a patient companion
letting me live on, move forward.
Waiting and watching
Letting me believe I was in control

No matter the number
of deep breaths,
decisions to press on,
pep talks in the mirror

I turn
resolute
only to see you
straddling the path I’ve chosen,
arms crossed, eyes blazing

You will not be left behind

The strange universe of my dreams,
The screen at my office,
The windshield of my car,
play host to your carousel of slides
flashing
Thanksgiving dinner
drinks at the pub
collapsing in a heap of laughter
candles
tears
snoring

You close my throat around the words of that song,
the one that was so easy to mock
but was his favorite
and hers,
and hers, too

You draw my eye to the car at the stoplight
just like her car
but not her car

You are here
Not them

Don’t leave me
Yet

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